The use of molecular biology tools in the field of bioadhesion is still in its infancy. For new research groups who are considering taking a molecular approach, the techniques presented here are essential to unravelling the sequence of a gene, its expression and its biological function. Here we provide an outline for addressing adhesion-related genes in diverse organisms. We show how to gradually narrow down the number of candidate transcripts that are involved in adhesion by (1) generating a transcriptome and a differentially expressed cDNA list enriched for adhesion-related transcripts, (2) setting up a BLAST search facility, (3) perform an in situ hybridization screen, and (4) functional analyses of selected genes by using RNA interference knock-down. Furthermore, latest developments in genome-editing are presented as new tools to study gene function. By using this iterative multi-technologies approach, the identification, isolation, expression and function of adhesion-related genes can be studied in most organisms. These tools will improve our understanding of the diversity of molecules used for adhesion in different organisms and these findings will help to develop innovative bio-inspired adhesives.